/ Motoring

Complain for change: ever appealed a parking ticket?

We all dread those notices on the car windscreen that scream ‘you’ve got a parking ticket’. However, Which? research, along with my own experiences, suggests that it’s worth appealing…

‘Aaarrgghhhh,’ is usually my immediate response, followed by the resigned acceptance of: ‘that’s 60 quid down the drain’. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. In fact, our research has found that two thirds of people who appeal a parking ticket win their case.

I’ve got two such examples. The first was when a friend came to visit and I gave her a visitor permit to place on her dashboard. When she returned to her car the next morning, the permit had fallen to the floor and a shiny new parking ticket was secured to her windscreen instead.

She was furious, so we took photos of where the permit had landed in her car and she sent these to my local authority. Her appeal was upheld and they waived the fine. Before I move on to my second example, you may want to watch our video on how to contest a parking ticket:

Parking attendants – waiting to pounce?

The second example is a little more convoluted. I had purchased a new car and was waiting for my local authority to reissue me with a parking permit containing the new car details. In the meantime I had to use visitor permits to avoid being issued a ticket – despite already having paid for a yearly permit (but that’s another story).

One evening I forgot to put a permit on my dashboard but remembered first thing the next morning. To my utter dismay I had received a parking ticket despite getting to my car at 8.05am – parking restrictions start at 8am.

Now, I’m sure parking attendants are all very nice people, but I’m afraid that my first thought was that an attendant must have hung around my car waiting to pounce at 8am.

I immediately appealed against the ticket giving clear reasons for my appeal. I was successful and delighted that I didn’t have to pay the fine. So, I’m now firmly of the opinion that it’s definitely worth appealing. But I’m not sure everyone does – have you ever contested a parking ticket? Were you successful?

sick of calderdale council says:
23 August 2014

my partners van has broken down automatic gearbox but was stuck in neutral and we managed to get it up the curb off the road to allow flow of traffic we contacted council to say waiting for tow truck and didn’t want a ticket they passed my email to the department that deals with parking when tow truck got there they had stuck ticket on it I am sending emails back n forth with photos etc of van on back of tow truck and they are saying fine still stands so I am prepared to go to court its just jobsworths being power crazed and trying to cash in on someones bad fortune my partner still without van as still in garage trying to get repaired yet still ticket still stands

Mr R Blake says:
3 September 2014

I parked at 11:20 in a south gloucestershire run car park which has a limit of 2 hours free parking. I returned to my vehicle after 10 mins and drove off to a funeral. I returned to same car park at 12:30 and parked for another 1 hour 40 mins. On returning to my vehicle i noticed a parking ticket on windscreen. The observed time of parking on my ticket was noted from 11:30 to 14:05. The warden had only just observed my vehicle at 11:30 before i drove off and on his return at 14:05 noted it still there, all be it in a different bay, so clocked me parking there 2 hrs 35 mins when really i had driven off earlier. To me i had only accumulated a total parking time of 1 hr and 50 mins. Can i still appeal against this as i still physically have not parked for more than 2 hrs

Roxy says:
23 January 2015

I parked in a council parking lot which has a two hour free limit as it is behind a tesco. I did not see any signs when I parked but was told by that there was a two hour free limit. I did not think I needed to get a ticket for an hour as there is no charge for this. When i returned to my car I noticed the PNC and was confused. when I looked around I saw the pay and display machine which I didn’t even realise before the only sign I saw was next to the machine I assume I didn’t see it as it is a busy area and there were probably something blocking by view.

Please can any one help.

the ticket was issued for Parked in a car park without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or voucher or parking clock. Which is code 83.


I presume you have to get a 2-hour pay-&-display ticket for no charge in order to indicate the time when your use of the car park commenced. If the signage was inadequate that could help you. The Council will defend its ticket but it’s worth giving them a call and listening to their response. Your shopping receipt will show the approximate time you returned to your vehicle but did you keep a note or some evidence of the actual time you parked your car? Without that I wouldn’t rate your chances highly unless there is an outbreak of compassion.


I’ve just done something similar, Parked my car in a car park I had never been in before, it said 2hrs free parking. Being a bit rushed I didn’t see the very small sign that said I needed to display a ticket. Anyway I parket my car at 8:50, returned at 10:15, found a ticket on the windscreen timed at 9:03. The car park only starts charging from 8:00 so given the ticket was slapped on at 9:03 I hope common sense will prevail as I wasn’t even parked there for the 2hrs, but I know what these pedants are like!

Renny Mulhearn says:
12 February 2015

I heard a banging sound coming from rear of car I immediatley pulled over I was parked for less than 2 minutes when I emerged from under rear of car I was astonished to find warden writing ticket I explained banging sound to warden to no avail, but my question is this= the warden did NOT take photo of ticket on windscreen!! The only photo he took was me in driving seat driving off am I still liable for ticket?? Thanks


I thought there was supposed to be a five-minute observation period to ensure the vehicle was actually parked and unattended rather than stopped for a legitimate reason like mechanical defect or road safety. Certainly worth challenging that ticket. I can’t understand why a photograph was necessary at all – it cannot justify the parking ticket, and nor can the parking enforcement officer probably.


I am pleased to read this morning that the government is introducing a “ten minute grace” period before a parking ticket can be issued. This would only apply to local authority parking schemes, both on-street and in public car parks, and not cover private property [including hospitals, railway stations. I thought the code of practice that councils followed already provided a five minute overstay tolerance but this was not a statutory requirement nor consistently exercised, so this is a little bit of good news.

There are other changes including
:: guidance for councils banning them from “using parking to generate profit”
:: a right for residents and businesses to demand – by a petition – that a council “reviews parking in their area”
:: new powers for parking adjudicators [appeal bodies] so they can “hold councils to account”
:: protection to stop drivers being fined after parking at out-of-order meters
:: a ban on the use of CCTV “spy cars” except in no-parking areas such as bus lanes and near schools.